Obama pulls a Nixon


Filed Under General on Jun 15 

One of the first lessons learned by a leader is the delicate art of getting rid of un-needed, unwanted, or undesirable employees or underlings. Donald Trump makes it look easy with his trademark “You’re Fired” shtick, but like most things, reality is much harder than the fantasy TV world.

Barack Obama has yet to learn this lesson.

Today the news hit the wires that Obama had taken it upon himself to fire the first member of his administration. Sure there have been plenty of associates, underlings, staffers and a whole host of adoring fans who have been unceremoniously tossed under the bus but most – if not all of them – went out the door willingly.

Not so with Gerald Walpin.

Who is Gerald Walpin? Why I’m glad you asked. Mr. Walpin – up until last Wednesday night – was the AmeriCorps’ Inspector General. For those of you unfamiliar with the inner workings of the federal government, there are few names which strike fear of God into every federal employee from the agency head down to the third shift janitor. “Inspector General” is chief among those names.

Walpin was eyebrow deep in a corruption investigation involving misuse of federal funds in AmeriCorps’ Sacramento and New York operations. This investigation had serious implications for Kevin Johnson – former NBA star and current mayor of Sacramento. Oh, and by the way, Johnson is a prominent supporter of The One.

If implicated by the IG’s investigation, Johnson could be barred (for life) from receiving any federal government dollars. It doesn’t take a CPA to figure out this could be problematic for a city mayor.

Learning of the problems which could result if one of his chief supporters was caught up in the IG’s web, The One made his first executive level management personnel decision: He fired Gerald Walpin.

There’s a multitude of problems with this presidential directive. First off, its most likely a violation of the 2008 Inspector General Reform Act in that the President is required by statute to give Congress 30 days notice before firing an Inspector General. Second – and possibly more important – is the fact that one President has already tried firing someone charged with investigating corruption in his own administration. (See Nixon, Richard Milhouse)

Yes, I know Nixon fired an Independent Counsel (Archibald Cox) and Gerald Walpin is an Inspector General. The principle is the same.

For the record, I’d rather Obama not continue to follow in Nixon’s footsteps. As bad as he is, I have even less confidence – if such a thing is actually measurable – in SlowJoe Biden’s ability to take the reins.

So…what think ye about The One’s first personnel canning?